Winter solstice 2014 and winterberries

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Lexington has had a lot of cloudy gray days lately, and I’ve appreciated the bright colorful winterberries (Ilex verticillata) in our backyard.

Winterberry shrubs

The berries are a good source of food, and our backyard birds would like to eat them. However, again this year, a mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) has been diligently guarding the berries. It eats a few now and then, and doesn’t allow any other birds to partake. At some point, a flock of birds is likely to overwhelm the mockingbird and get all the berries. But for now, it’s king/queen of its domain.

Mockingbird and winterberries

Yesterday was the winter solstice, an event to which I always look forward (posts from 2012 and 2013). There’s something special about knowing we’ve reached the shortest day of the year, and our days will gradually get longer. We awoke to a beautiful wintry scene, with heavy frost covering the winterberries and other plants with beautiful icy crystals. It was as though nature was also celebrating the solstice.

Winterberries and frost

I have no idea how long the mockingbird will be able to keep the winterberries for itself. However, I’m glad we had them to help celebrate the solstice.

8 thoughts on “Winter solstice 2014 and winterberries”

  1. Betty,

    My favorite post ever. I LOVE the mockingbird in the amongst the berries. Thank you for all you do. Hope you and Harry have a wonderful Christmas.

    Linda

  2. These are so wonderful, Betty. Love the pearly grays of the mockingbird against the red berries. Thanks for sharing so many beauties all year long. Merry, merry Christmas!

  3. I too love and look forward to winter solstice. Knowing the days are getting longer helps me to get thru January and February. What a beautiful picture. I’ve put winterberry on my list of garden additions in the spring. See you in 2015!

  4. What beautiful bright colours to brighten up a winter day! And no doubt your feathered friends enjoy them too, and what a cute little bird is the Mockingbird, especially when they puff up their feathers to keep warm!
    Beautiful photographs once again Betty, thank you for brightening up my day.

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